In today’s world of Democracy and popular government, the concept of Monarchy seems to be an ancient vestige of a forgotten age. Councils, Parliaments and Congresses run a state’s affairs and hereditary titles have been banned in many countries around the world. However, there do remain a few nations that have a Monarchy as part of their government. Whether the monarch is just a figurehead with no practical power, or indeed the head of the government, monarchy has survived the turn of the millennium and shows no sign of passing away.
|Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain|
Perhaps the most familiar example is that of Great Britain. Although the country is run by a Parliament, the royal family, currently the house of Windsor, remains an important symbol in the hearts and minds of the British people. Other monarchies on the continent of Europe include Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, and Monaco. In Japan, the current Emperor Akihito is still very popular with his subjects. In fact, the survival of the imperial office was the one condition on which the Imperial forces surrendered at the end of World War II. Interestingly, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej is currently the world’s richest monarch.
|Queen Beatrix of the United Netherlands|
Whatever people may say about democracy and popular government, the idea of royalty and castles still captures the popular imagination. Although most of them cannot command armies, levy taxes, or actually rule their subjects, royal families and their images remain very modern institutions.
|King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand|